BAD weather aside, the Isle of Wight's cross-Solent operators have reassured MP Bob Seely they are 'winter-ready'.

The MP has pledged to monitor the service performance of Hovertravel, Red Funnel and Wightlink, having received assurances from each that they were well-prepared for the coming winter.

Mr Seely wrote to the companies on October 4, asking about their winter preparations.

He has now shared their responses.

He said he was keen to avoid the same situation as last year where maintenance and operational issues — coupled with adverse weather conditions — led to restrictions in travel and inconvenience for Islanders.

Mr Seely sought reassurance that preparations were being undertaken by all providers to ensure that these issues did not repeat themselves and that any delays to travel were limited only by unavoidable and adverse weather.

He said: “I am pleased all three operators have taken action to prepare themselves for the winter and I hope they will reach the targets they have set for themselves to ensure a reliable service for Islanders.

“Bad weather aside, Islanders need services they can rely on and I will be keeping a close eye on them.”

Hovertravel, which saw its hovercraft cancelled all this morning due to technical issues, said: "The Hovertravel team have been working tirelessly since last winter to see our reliability reach an average of 99 per cent and we are aiming for 100 per cent through this year."

Red Funnel said: "During the winter period in 2018/19, we operated at reliability levels of over 99 per cent for both our Red Jet and vehicle services."

Wightlink said its aim is more than 99 per cent reliability. Last winter, the FastCats achieved the target but the Portsmouth to Fishbourne route missed the target in January, and the Lymington to Yarmouth route missed it from November to January due to Volvo engine issues. There has been no disruption due to engine failures since January.